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‘Native Son’ Jeremy Paris to lead downtown transformation as Executive Director of Group Plan Commission


CLEVELAND – March 11, 2014 – A Cleveland native who returned from Capitol Hill to take part in the revitalization of his hometown will shepherd efforts to connect Clevelanders by reinvigorating signature downtown public spaces and linking Lake Erie to the city’s core.


Jeremy Paris, 39, has been appointed as the first executive director of the Group Plan Commission, the coordinating body between the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and philanthropic and private-sector partners, together the key driving forces behind a series of connected catalytic downtown projects.


Paris will work with the GPC board and various other stakeholders to facilitate the ambitious effort to transform Public Square and the downtown mall, and to build an iconic pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and the lakefront by the summer of 2016.


“Jeremy will be a dynamic force in focusing our collective energies on moving this exciting vision forward,” said Anthony J. Coyne, GPC chairman.  “As the commission’s work begins to move from the drawing board to reality, the time was right to hire an executive director.  With Jeremy’s strong project management background and his experience collaborating with diverse private and public entities, he was the natural choice to coordinate the cooperative effort to bring it to fruition.”


Since returning to Cleveland in 2012, Paris served as a special assistant to Cuyahoga County Executive Edward FitzGerald on these key projects and helped the county executive lead a collaborative planning process for the Great Lakes Expo of 2016, a communitywide showcase to celebrate the unveiling of Cleveland's revitalized downtown and waterfront.

“The commitments made by the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to revitalize our downtown and connect it to the Lakefront have put us on the verge of a once-in-a-generation transformation," said Paris.  "By working collaboratively with key civic partners, we can bring private and philanthropic resources together with this critical public sector investment to make the most of Cleveland's remarkable redevelopment and have a lasting impact."


Before coming home, Paris served as chief counsel for nominations and oversight for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 


In that capacity, he managed the unit responsible for consideration of nominations to the United States Supreme Court, lower federal courts and the Department of Justice, including the nominations of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Elena Kagan, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Sam Alito and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Paris was a counsel to Chairman Leahy from 2005 until 2013, advising Chairman Leahy, Judiciary Committee members and the Democratic caucus on the strategy for managing nominations through the Senate process. 


In addition, he assisted Chairman Leahy in conducting oversight of the Department of Justice and the White House, including the investigation into the firing of U.S. Attorneys, and advised Chairman Leahy on legislation related to voting rights, civil rights, and issues related to the U.S. Constitution and separation of powers. 


Before going to Capitol Hill, Paris was a litigation associate at a Washington law firm after serving as a law clerk for a federal judge.  A graduate of Shaker Heights High School, Paris received his B.A. in Political Science from Yale University in 1997 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2001.

About the Group Plan Commission


The Group Plan Commission was assembled in 2013 to update and build upon Cleveland’s Group Plan of 1903, the iconic vision that helped shape the heart of downtown Cleveland more than a century ago. 


Taking action to complete the recommendations made in 2011 by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s initial Group Plan Commission, today’s Group Plan will complete projects to transform and connect the city’s signature public spaces. The Group Plan is focused on three priority projects: redesigning and revitalizing Public Square, enhancing the downtown malls, and creating an iconic pedestrian connection between downtown and the lakefront.


Working with partners like the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and LAND studio, the Group Plan will combine public, private and philanthropic resources to complete these projects, complement the $3 billion in development in Cleveland’s downtown core since 2010, spur an additional wave of transformational development, and renew the heart of Downtown Cleveland for today’s Clevelanders and future generations.

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